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Reader Requests

Thursday April 25, 2019

I always appreciate reader feedback on the blog. Here are some ideas I’ve received from a reader recently, for topics to address:

Paralysis in the face of an overwhelming workload

Throwing out a few of my favorite techniques here:

  • Begin to craft your anti-paralysis science. You’ll need at least a log and a calendar to start with.
  • Take opportunities to get out of your normal environment. While in the new environment, bring your ideas around to the paralysis and make a simple action plan.
  • If you’re not talking, or writing, or singing, or otherwise getting it out of your head, the paralysis has a greater chance of winning.
  • Yes, it matters to you to get better at this stuff. There’s always some existential excuse for why it doesn’t matter in the big picture. But once you feel yourself getting a little better at it, your overall sense of well-being will improve.
  • In the future, consider changing your boundaries to reduce the likelihood of this happening again, if possible.

Getting trapped in what I think is good work vs. what employer values/measures/rewards

I probably need more specifics on this one, but if you can list exactly what your employer values, that gives you tremendous value to the organization. Even just saying it out loud in meetings can help the organization feel a sense of calm and provide you with protection. Compliment your coworkers and leadership on those values. Don’t generally accept compliments in the area of those values, just explain that you have a long way to go. Especially in SJ organizations.

Meanwhile, do your best work on your personal projects. Never let up there. You need to maintain a sense of pride in your work.

And: Start working to forge a career that ties more deeply into your value system. Everybody needs that.

Wanting to brag vs. wanting to share cool things

So much of this is subject vs. object psychology. If the object, the person with whom you’re sharing cool things, is a good person to share these cool things with, it’ll go well. If not, it won’t. So watch for that. What do they think is cool?

It’s nice to have someone to brag to, but we INTJs also kind have an unreasonable fear of weakness. See if you can work your way through that.

And when it’s time to brag next: Have an intuitive conversation with an ESFP in your journal. If you haven’t done that, pick a well-known ESFP, or let one appear to you and talk to them.

I remember once on a long drive through the SF Bay area during the sunset hours, I had a back-and-forth imagined conversation with Larry Ellison. The guy came out of nowhere. He’s a known ESFP, but I didn’t know that; I knew next to nothing about him. I guess my subconscious picked up on him somehow, and we had a long talk.

Larry let me brag. A lot. I wouldn’t brag to anybody else like that, but I’m telling you, that conversation (not so much the bragging, though it was definitely there) changed my life. The comfort I received from that simple mental exercise with my subconscious mind has paid huge dividends ever since and marked a pivot point in my adult life.

So yeah—brag when it’s appropriate, brag when you feel comfortable doing so. And, watch out for those opportunities. Reflect on what you’ve done! Every INTJ I meet has done a LOT of cool sh*t, no matter how they see themselves.

Getting emotionally wrecked when someone accuses me of cheating them

This definitely feeds into our need to be perceived as a certain type of person.

Keep in mind that people who make accusations will often do so not because they really feel their argument is a good one, but because they’re being prospective. They are being analytical, feeling you out, trying to see what will make you take the wrong side of a very small-picture negotiation.

There’s a science to this—log it, keep track of it, watch it, and you’ll get it.

Also keep your ear to the self-care world. This world really cherishes and protects Fi topics like vulnerability, personal worth, etc. It can help an INTJ out in this area.

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